Last Sunday we watched the action comedy RED2. (Movies still rank high in the “Cheap Thrills” department for us.) In the scenario of the movies, RED stands for “Retired Extremely Dangerous”. An acronym that might suit us non-fiction folks would be REB. for “Retired Extremely Busy”. During the hot month of July when almost every day starts with setting up irrigation and for me at least, ends with writing something, my Father’s Biography, the Panorama Gem and Mineral Club Newsletter, this blog… there is a whole lot of writing going on. Stack on some visits from family and friends, add some business meetings, regular work, a few trips of our own and “Extremely Busy” is the least of it. To follow up on last month’s blog, Tales of Daring Doe. Gretchen has become a daring dog. She realized that if she charges ahead toward the deer, Daring Doe will turn chicken and run. Now, if she would just not dare to get into stuff around the house when we are away. Summer is also a great time to get out in the woods. I found a couple of guys doing just that to help with the trail mapping project. So most of the 106 trails I need to map have been mapped and proofed. I still have 30 or so to go, but the deadline is next year. Life is good. Getting out to look at trails also helped us find some ripe huckleberries. We took our huckleberry hound, Gretchen, and Westfalia camper out overnight to get in this year’s supply. That gave us a chance to start picking early in the morning when the air was cool and get back for dinner. On most mornings I’m out in the vineyard for a couple of hours. The grapes are very happy with all the attention, sunshine and water. Next step is getting the nets up. The birds have been paying a attention to the grapes early this year and the yellow jackets are thick. Pretty soon it will be game on for getting in the harvest. My sister Jeannette and her husband Bill Yake made it over to see butterflies and visit us overnight. It was great to see them and taste some wine. Cheryl had a family reunion of her own. Her cousin, Pat, is moving to nearby, Chewelah from Florida. Pat and her husband Allen came up and stayed with Pat’s sister, Kathy and her husband, Jerry, for a few days. So we got together, had some great BBQ and looked at 80 year old movies that Pat and Kathy had inherited on the tiny screen of a film splicer for 8mm film. You may be able to “unfriend” someone easily on facebook, but it is much harder to “unfamily” someone in the real world. Luckily, these were all great people to visit with and (bonus) we could do it at their place instead of ours. In another out-and-about adventure, I was able to take a couple of geology tours this last month with Andy Buddington and Eric Cheney, geologists studying local stratigraphy, the science of how rocks of different types and ages came to be where they are. It was fun to seerocks that had been around for half the life of the earth itself popping up in nearby parts of Idaho and walk around mountains that were once the bottom of the ocean. The explanations are rather technical, but I’ll do my best to interpret them on the Panorama Gem and Mineral Club website, which took the occasion to crash this last month. Actually 3 out of 4 websites I try to manage crashed in July. A couple were resurrected fairly easily, but the Panorama Gem and Mineral Club website took it hard. Your eyes may glaze over at the explanations. Suffice it to say that the software it uses, WordPress, doesn’t get along with Microsoft servers well and moving it to a Linux server created its own set of problems, most of which have been remedied. Just don’t look at the Google maps yet. This site and this blog crashed too but it is not WordPress. This is a re-creation. Many evenings toward the end of the month were spent piecing togetherletters written by my father to his wartime girlfriend who became my mother, with events from the war in the Pacific. It was sortof nostalgic, with lots of “swell guys”, movies staring Betty Davis and Clark Gable, raids against the Japs etc. Nothing PC or “awesome” involved. They didn’t teach us much about what went on just before I was born in school. If you are not too “Retired and Extremely Busy” to read a 20 story, check out the draft of “Love and War“, the second chapter of the biography of Joseph Barreca Sr.